Make Your Own Sunblock
We are outdoors people in the summer. Since we have such long winters here, the first chances we get to be outside on nice days we do it and we thoroughly take advantage of them. We have many hobbies that we enjoy doing outdoors, so summer is the time to be able to do them when the weather is above 50 degrees!
The problem is, I have fair skin and naturally red undertones in my hair. In other words, I burn easily (but I am one of those strange kinds that burns one day and then the next has a nice tan). So I need to have a decent sunblock to protect my skin when I go outside. I know you can forgo the sunblock and wear long sleeve clothing and pants, but who really wants to do that when it’s 100 degrees outside?
But, there is a problem with regular sunscreen. Thanks to multiple allergies, I don’t like to put chemicals of any kind into my system. Since the skin is our body’s biggest organ, we really have to be careful about the things we put onto our skin because they all absorb into the body. Here are some sketchy ingredients in regular sunscreen:
Avobenzone, Methoxycinnamate, Padimate-o, Titanium dioxide, and Zinc Oxide – In certain doses, these are all proven to actually CAUSE skin cancer. These ingredients also create a sense of false estrogen in the body and disrupt the natural hormonal balance.
In 2007 the FDA said, “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer.” (EWG)
If sunblock and the chemicals in it aren’t helping to prevent skin cancer, why are we subjecting our bodies to them? Not only that, Vitamin D levels in people have been steadily decreasing over the last 20 years. When you steady Vitamin D levels in your body it strengthens bones and the immune system and reduces the risk of various cancers (including breast, colon, kidney, and ovarian cancers). Of course the sun is our main source of Vitamin D when our body is able to absorb it’s rays.
Another item of concern is the addition of Vitamin A in the form of retinyl palmitate to almost half of all sunscreens. This version of Vitamin A has been proven to actually speed up the development of skin tumors and lesions. For someone trying to avoid skin cancer, this doesn’t really sound like something I’d want to be putting on my skin.
Ok on to something we can do about this mess….
The ideal solution would be to make your own sunblock. However, many of the recipes I’ve seen around the blogosphere for sunblock contain zinc oxide. While I chose not to add this in my sunblock you can add it. Just make sure to read up on the issues associated with overuse before you add it to your sunblock.
First things first: I’m a big believer in the healing powers of real food. I’ve already managed to take control of my allergies by doing things such as eating certain foods, cutting out sugar, cutting out hormones in dairy and meat, and more. So just like anything, skin protection can begin with our diet. Here are some foods you should be eating to give your skin a natural boost from the inside out:
- Omega 6 (Raw Vegetables)
- Green Tea
- Grape Seed Extract
- Beta Carotene (carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, and cantaloupe) and Vitamin E (plant oils, green leafy vegetables, and nuts)
What about our skin? Well, it turns out there is something we can use that is effective, doesn’t block the sun’s rays (which we don’t want to do because we need that Vitamin D remember?), but instead to destroy the free radical reactions that create the problems when we are out in the sun. So…
Make Your Own Sunblock
What You Need:
- Coconut Oil (Where to Buy)
Yes really. That’s it.
Of course there is a method to this madness as well. It’s still best to not go out into the sun around the noon hour if you can avoid it because that is when the highest concentration of UV rays are just waiting for you. And if you’ve been stuck inside all winter and are a nice shade of paste, you might want to take your time heading out into the sun this summer.
The first few times you go into the sun, rub on a layer of coconut oil (or my Coconut Oil Lotion would work great because it has the addition of Vitamin E!) and go out for a short period of time. As time goes on your body will become seasoned to the sun and you will be able to stay out longer without being burned. The exact times and days that you do for this seasoning will depend on your own personal skin type. And make sure you keep using coconut oil.
You can also add a few other things into your coconut oil to make it even more effective such as:
If you do happen to get a sunburn you can check out these natural remedies for getting rid of the pain and redness.
*Note: PLEASE do your own research before using any sunblock method. I’ve received several comments discrediting this method without looking into various methods and the risks and benefits. Only you know what is right for your family, but please research any and all ideas and methods thoroughly first. And for reference, this is in no way similar to using baby oil!
Have you ever tried to make your own sunblock? What was the outcome?